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Author: mohammed Momoh

Ikeja, Kaduna electricity firms suspend new tariff

By Tanko Mohammed

Ikeja Electric (IE) and its Kaduna counterpart have complied with the order of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) suspending the new Service Reflective Tariff (SRT) for the next two weeks.

The electricity distribution companies confirmed their compliance on Thursday.

Ikeja DisCo  said : “Dear Esteemed customers, this is to inform you that we have fully complied with the Order from the NERC to suspend the new Service Reflective Tariff (SRT) for the next two weeks.

” Within this period, the tariffs for all customers shall be based on rates applicable as at Aug. 31. ”

NERC on Wednesday  ordered the 11 electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) to suspend the Sept. 1 tariff increment.

The commission’s suspension order of the Multi Year Tariff  Order (MYTO) 2020  signed by NERC’s Chairman, Prof. James Momoh, was released on its website

The suspension followed a joint communique issued by the Federal Government and the labour unions.

The Federal Government agreed that the recent review in electricity tariffs would be suspended by the commission for a period of 14 days to further consultations  that would to  final negotiations between the parties.

The order by NERC said that from Sept. 28  to Oct. 11, the DisCos must revert all charges to the tariff existing as of Aug. 31.

“This means that  for the next two weeks, electricity consumers having power above 12 hours who were affected by the over 100 per cent tariff hike would revert to their old charges.”

It said as empowered by Section 33 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act ( EPSRA) 2005, the Minister of Power, Mr Sale Mamman, could issue such a directive to NERC.

Kaduna Electric started implementing the old electricity tariff as at Aug. 31st, 2020 as ordered.

The Head of Corporate Communication, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, made the disclosure on Thursday in Kaduna.

Abdullahi said that the reversal to the old tariff regime was sequel to the agreement reached between the Federal Government and the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to suspend the recently approved service based tariff.

“Following the directive of the NERC to Distribution Companies to suspend the new Service Based Tariff, the management of Kaduna Electric wishes to inform its customers and the general public that it has fully complied with the directive.

“Prepaid customer who purchase electricity tokens from today will therefore see the value of the old tariff reflected in their tokens, while postpaid customers will also see the old tariff reflected on their next bill,” he said in a statement.

Abdullahi expressed the hope that the technical committee set up to look into how the service based tariff was arrived at, would conclude its assignment on schedule and allow for the new tariff to be implemented.

He said the new tariff would help to enhance service to customers, improve liquidity and drive investments in the sector.

Stock market’s capitalisation ends with N14trn mark

By Chris Ndibe

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) market capitalisation crossed N14 trillion mark on the last trading day of September due to sustained confidence.

Specifically, the market capitalisation on Wednesday rose by N118 billion or 0.84 per cent to close at N14.025 trillion against N13.907 trillion achieved on Tuesday.

The increase in the market capitalisation was as a result of the listing of 146,878,241 ordinary shares of Dangote Sugar Refinery.

The additional shares listed on NSE arose from the Scheme of Merger between Dangote Sugar Refinery and Savannah Sugar Company Limited.

With this listing of the additional 146,878,241 ordinary shares, the total issued and fully paid up shares of Dangote Sugar Refinery increased from 12,000,000,000 to 12,146,878,241 ordinary shares of 50k each.

However, the All-Share Index increased by 201.80 points or 0.76 per cent to close at 26,813.76 compared with 26,611.96 posted on Tuesday.

The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Total, Dangote Cement, MTN Nigeria Communications, Guaranty Trust Bank and UACN.

Consequently, market sentiment closed positive with 20 stocks in contrast with eight losers.

Total led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent to close at N96.80 per share.

Eterna followed with 9.60 per cent to close at N2.74, while UACN rose by 9.45 per cent to close at N6.95 per share.

Wapic Insurance rose by 5.71 per cent to close at 37k, while Jaiz Bank appreciated by 5.17 per cent to close at 61k per share.

Conversely, University Press dominated the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping 6.77 per cent to close at N1.24 per share.

Nigerian Breweries trailed with a loss of 6.76 per cent to close at N49, while PZ Cussons Nigeria lost 5.88 per cent to close at N4 per share.

Wema Bank shed 5.26 per cent to close at 54k, while Union Bank of Nigeria depreciated by 2.91 per cent to close at N5 per share.

However, the total volume traded decreased by 21.87 per cent with an exchange of 322.77 million shares, worth N4.04 billion traded in 4,046 deals.

This was in contrast with a turnover of 413.10 million shares valued at N4.53 billion traded in 4,681deals on Tuesday.

Transactions in the shares of Sterling Bank topped the activity chart with 83.69 million shares worth N105.44 million.

Access Bank sold 46.10 million shares valued at N308.35 million, while Zenith Bank traded 24.87 million shares worth N443.39 million.

Lafarge Africa transacted 18.70 million shares valued at N280.59 million, while Fidelity Bank exchanged 17.19 million shares worth N32.18 million.

Power firm to boost supply to cluster customers in Lagos, Ogun

By Tanko Mohammed

 Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) has reported it was intensifying efforts to increase power supply to industrial clusters in Lagos and Ogun States through its Eligible Customer drive.

Mr Chiedu Ugbo, Managing Director, NDPHC, made this known after an inspection visit to Olorunsogo Power Generation Company in Ogun.

Ugbo said the management of NDPHC had recently met with Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and his Ogun counterpart, Mr Dapo Abiodun, to solicit their support and cooperation in furtherance of the objective.

He said the company, which had 10 power generation plants across the country, had signed an agreement with Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company for reliable power supply to industrial clusters in areas under its network.

Ugbo said the Olorunsogo Power Plant had a capacity of 750MW, but had a limited off take from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) which lead to energy losses.

He said: “We came here with IBDC that is in charge of most of the South West States to discuss with them in terms of distribution to end users.

“Our distribution essentially is how we can work together under bilateral agreement that will see us supply the electricity to them and they will distribute to eligible customers.

“This will include industrial clusters and even residential clusters.”

According to him, the assets of NDPHC were established by monies belonging to Nigerians by the government and should therefore be utilised for the benefit of the people.

He noted that the transmission network presently cannot allow Nigerians to take electricity directly from generation companies.

Ugbo said: “The electricity is there,  however, the transmission company is unable to take all that is being generated.

“So we came with Ibadan DisCo to see what the challenges are, what the network bottlenecks are and how we can work with them and do an end-to-end from the power plant to the end users.”

He said there were lots of industries in Shagamu and Ota axis which would key into the model to solve their energy challenges, stressing that the company was ready to install infrastructure needed for its success.

NEPZA promises to rejuvenate economy though free trade zones

By Moses Uwagbale

As Nigeria celebrates its 60th anniversary, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), says the authority will use Free Trade Zones (FTZs) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to rejuvenate the economy.

Adesugba said in Abuja in  his message on Nigeria’s Independence in which he  re-assured the public of NEPZA’s commitment to galvanise investments for the country’s economic growth post-COVID-19 pandemic.

Adesugba, in a statement by Mr Martins Odeh, the Head, Corporate Communications, said the country 60th Independence Anniversary signified the age of rejuvenation.

The NEPZA Chief said that the authority under his supervision was working assiduously to achieve its mandate of driving the country’s industrialisation process.

He said NEPZA was fully aware of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment toward expeditious economic recovery, noting that the authority was being repositioned to actualise this goal.

“First, we are poised to reduce or totally halt the huge capital flight that usually accompanies medical tourism.

“As can be seen, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the momentary shutting down of international borders.

“We are immediately leveraging on this to establish Medical and Pharmaceutical Special Economic Zones.

“This will be done in conjunction the Federal Ministry of Health, the World Bank Group and other relevant stakeholders in the health sector,’ ’he said.

He said that when fully developed, world class hospitals and pharmaceutical production companies would gravitate toward the country to dispense quality healthcare services for the people.

“We are sincerely interested in using the special economic zones model for many other specialised fields, but the medical sector remains our pilot scheme for now.’’

Dealers seek local production of mobile telecom devices

By Anthony Areh

The Association of Mobile Communications Devices Technicians of Nigeria (AMCODET) says it is time for Nigeria to look inwards for local production of mobile devices after attaining 60 years of age.

Mr Apara Ige, the National Chairman of the association, said in Abuja that the country was spending lots of money importing foreign made devices.

Ige explained that mobile devices, especially the Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM), introduced by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, had impacted positively on the ICT sector of the economy.

“We are 19 years of GSM in Nigeria, there has been tremendous improvement and changes with the coming of GSM to the country since 1999 in the economy.

“The GSM sector has been able to employ numerous youths, making them entrepreneurs and self-employed, which has also boosted development in the science and technology sector.

“The communication gadgets in the ICT ecosystem make up for the digital economy and the devices are the cash flow of the economy.

“When you buy a phone, after some months, it might develop a fault which will need fixing, and it in turn generates income for those who are in that sector.

“We are still lagging behind in indigenous production, Nigeria is not making deliberate effort to produce mobile devices locally, we are still depending of foreign countries, companies for our communication gadgets.

“It is high time Nigeria look inwards and develop locally made devices because after crude oil, the communications sector is making serious contributions to our Gross Domestic Product,’’ he said.

Ige advised that the Ministry of Science and Technology to explore the possibility of using local technology towards establishing mobile devices manufacturing companies in Nigeria.

“The Ministry in collaboration with some foreign companies producing mobile devices can sponsor our youths to train on the production of the devices and encourage technology transfer,’’ he said.

Ige commended the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, for engaging youths and making efforts in ensuring that the sector impacted positively on the economy digitally.